Abbott’s Canberra: a smoking ruin

The closer one examines the Opposition’s economic plans, the more terrifying it becomes. Especially for Canberra, says ROBERT MACKLIN

SHOULD Opposition Leader Tony Abbott carry out his threats to slice $70 billion from Government spending, Canberra’s economy will become be a smoking ruin.

Whole departments will be disbanded, their employees thrown on to the street. Private industry, so dependent on the government in this company town, will go into steep decline.

Consumer spending will plummet; house prices will fall; and here’s the rub: the Mad Monk will actually boast to the rest of Australia that he’s brought those Canberra silvertails to book.

The support from right-wing ideologue Judith Sloan, on a recent “Q&A” on ABC TV, that such cuts were easily do-able was simply breath-taking.

This is the same Judith Sloan who raged at the proposed super tax on those poor, hard-done-by miners and their world-record profits. Presumably, she is the one economist in Australia he doesn’t treat with derision.

First to go will be the Department of Climate Change and Energy; for the truth is that Abbott’s idiotic plan – to tax households $1300 to somehow reduce emissions by five per cent by 2020 – is just a shabby political cover.

Everyone knows he doesn’t believe in climate change and the scheme won’t do the job. So he’ll postpone it indefinitely.

This means there’ll be no need for the Department. A few survivors might find their way into the environment section of Prime Minister’s, where they’ll moulder away approving coal-seam gas permits.

Since the NBN will be scrapped, there’ll be no need for the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.

If they’re lucky, the public servants will find jobs around the country digging up the fibre and reconnecting Telstra’s old copper wiring.
Immigration can be cut in half.

All they’ll need is a project team to rebuild Nauru. That’ll take care of the boat people.

The remainder can administer the greatly expanded 457 temporary workers Abbott will import at third-world conditions to handle the mining boom…oh, except that the boom might start to look a little shaky as he continues to insult those godless Chinese Communists in favour of the peace-loving Japanese.

And that’s just the beginning.

If you think I’m being a little extreme you’re right. But that’s because the mainstream press has been so obsessed with their misogynistic attacks on Julia Gillard they have totally ignored the actual policies of the swaggering, schoolyard bully who leads the Opposition.

Someone has to put a little weight on the other end of the political seesaw.

However, here’s the good news: I honestly believe it won’t happen.

Abbott will never be Prime Minister. The Australian people are much smarter than that. Malcolm Turnbull is smarter than that.

And so is Kevin Rudd.

Something must – and will – be done before that fateful election takes place. The great pity is that in the meantime the Press Gallery doesn’t get it. They’re like Brown’s cows: they all eat the same grass and expel the same putrid methane into the clear, Canberra air.

robert@robertmacklin.com

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